ZIMBABWE’s main opposition party by parliamentary representation, the MDC-T led by former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai will this week roll out its 2018 general elections campaign targeting first-time voters, NewsDay has learnt.
Source: MDC-T rolls out 2018 campaigns – NewsDay Zimbabwe March 13, 2017
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
The MDC-T’s youth wing under the tutelage of Happymore Chidziva, will launch its #99 Campaign aimed at capturing the vote of all citizens born in 1999, the same year the MDC-T was formed to vote in the make-or-break poll expected in the second half of next year.
“The party was formed in 1999 and next year, all those who were born at the turn of the century will be eligible to vote. This campaign is aimed at exciting them to vote, they have to register and if we can get over a million of first-time voters we are assured of victory,” Chidziva said.
The MDC-T youth leader said his group would also be pushing another campaign programme called Bereka Mwana Tiende (Take Your Child With You).
“Most parents live their youthful children behind when they go to register or when they are voting, so this campaign is strategic in that it motivates them to bring their children along as they embark on both registration and voting. The parents are the ones carrying the burden of feeding their jobless children, yet they don’t encourage them to vote,” Chidziva added.
Tsvangirai has said he expects a million votes from Harare alone and another million from first-time voters, before getting more votes in other constituencies.
Addressing a closed door meeting in Kwekwe last month, Tsvangirai, who is set to run in his fourth presidential race and has only managed an average of a million votes in each poll, is also targeting the rural vote.
The former Prime Minister will be in Chitungwiza from March 17 to 19 as he seeks to consolidate his position ahead of the formation of a grand coalition, which is seen as the only way to oust President Robert Mugabe from power.
Tsvangirai led the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and other civic groups into the formation of the then united MDC that almost deposed Mugabe from power at its inaugural election participation in 2000, taking 57 seats in the legislature.
Tsvangirai has since then continued to challenge Mugabe, but failing to wrestle power, including his historic 2008 first round victory that forced the Zanu PF leader into a four-year coalition which ended in 2013.